Mr. E helps students succeed at McKinley Park elementary school

Teacher of the Month

CHICAGO – Before in-person classes were canceled amid tensions between CPS and CTU, we had a change to meet up with the remarkable Mr. E.

The E could stand for energy.

“I’m just excited to be here,” he said. “You really can’t fake it to them.”

Mr. Adrian Echevarria has plenty of that.

Keeping up with his students in-person and online, Mr. E has been working at Nathanael Greene Elementary School in McKinley Park for the last 13 years in different roles.

Last year, he became a music teacher.

His former student, Teressa Sopher, nominated him for Teacher of the Month. She’s 12 now and in middle school.

When she felt like no one else believed in her, she said Mr. E did.

“Thank you for inspiring me to write more and push me hard so hard then, so I’m doing better now,” Sopher said.

He has high expectations for his students.

“First of all I want them to succeed, I want them to succeed period. I got to be honest with them let them know things are tough. And I am. I do. Because things were tough for me and things are gonna be tough out there. Junior high is no joke. So I tell them they have family here. I tell them they have teachers and friends here and I also tell them to make us proud,” Mr. E said.

The award’s sponsor, attorney Ken Allen, gave Echevarria a $1,000 check for the school.

“I’m think about buying ukuleles, as many ukuleles as I can,” he said.

He says he’s honored. His determination speaks volumes.

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